Bruce Oksol, of The Million Dollar Way, reports on his observations during his frequent trips to Williston. Comments from his February trip, with a few of my comments on his comments:
2/6 – First Day Back in the Bakken – Construction on the bridge across the Missouri seems to have stopped. By-pass on the west side of town is complete. He senses less oil rig traffic, Wal-mart is not as full as during the boom, but still quite busy, and less cars in the parking lots of nicer hotels. Restaurants are busy, but not anywhere like during the boom.
2/7 – Second Day Back in the Bakken – Several comments on the fun and informative conversations he overhead in various restaurants and stores. No drilling rigs visible on a drive east of town on 1804. Noticeable was the number of multi-well sites. He reminds us that eventually one well sites will hold 4 pumps, four well sites will hold 8, and the gaps between pads will be filled with more pads. Eventually there will be 32 pumps per drilling unit.
2/7 – Third Day in the Bakken – Having a wonderful visit with his dad. First time inside the new Menards and he was quite impressed. It is a wonderful store. Good progress on the new high school. He didn’t notice any vacant or abandoned homes in the new housing developments.
He senses the area is in the bottom of a short “U” recovery or maybe long “U”, but not a sharp “V”. He points out another writer who suggests local cities are planning for a stable recovery with occasional busy times.
2/8 – What we will be talking about Friday– Post has several videos: new high school under construction, new bridge across Missouri river, and a 14 well pad near the bridge. Yes, a 14 well pad. Two of the pumps are the tall, Chinese design.
2/10 – Wednesday, February 10 – My summary: Williston is far busier with more shopping than before the boom, but seems to have settled down from craziness of the boom. A new normal that is at a higher level of activity than a decade ago.
2/11 – Mr. Oksol is leaving Williston, driving home to Texas.